SEPICH INVESTIGATION NARROWS WITH NEW DNA PROFILE

SEPICH INVESTIGATION NARROWS WITH NEW DNA PROFILE

Using a DNA profile furnished by Third Judicial District Attorney Susana Martinez, the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department has narrowed the scope of the investigation into the murder of Kathryn Jaye ‘Katie’ Sepich.

Using DNA on file, a laboratory has determined that the suspect is most likely a Hispanic male. There is a more remote possibility that the suspect may be Native American.

Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Capt. Robert Jones said the DNA profile helps narrow the investigation, although it does not point to any specific suspect. He said Martinez’s office has spent nearly $30,000 on DNA testing related to the Sepich case to date, assisting the investigators as they continue to pursue leads.

Sepich, 22, of Carlsbad, a graduate student of business administration at NMSU, attended a party Saturday night, Aug. 30, 2003, in the Las Cruces neighborhood of Veterans’ Park. She left the party sometime after midnight. Investigators believe she walked home and was abducted as she tried to gain entrance to her home through a bedroom window.

At about 11 a.m. the next morning, target shooters reported the discovery of a body in the desert near the old city dump east of Las Cruces. Upon identification of the body, Sheriff’s investigators contacted people who knew Sepich, including her roommates, and traced her activities back to the party. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator’s autopsy report determined the cause of death was strangulation. Sepich also was sexually assaulted.

To date, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department has interviewed more than 80 people about the case, with support from the Las Cruces and New Mexico State University police departments. DNA samples have been taken from all those interviewed.

Jones said additional leads are being followed in the aftermath of a nationally broadcast episode of Fox TV’s ‘America’s Most Wanted’ last weekend. In addition, Crimestoppers is offering a $52,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any person or persons who may have been involved in Sepich’s death. The Sepich family donated $50,000 of the reward fund.

Anyone with any information about the case is urged to contact Crimestoppers at (505) 526-8000. All callers have the option to remain anonymous. Any caller who provides information that leads to arrest(s) will be eligible to collect the reward.

NOTE TO MEDIA

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators will NOT accept calls or interview requests regarding this case. All calls should be directed to the Doña Ana County Public Information Office at (505) 647-7229.